Surreal Bounce

The Nocturne Wall April 11, 2013

My Friend and art patron, Robert Eringer, has opened a new Saloon in Santa Barbara. It is called Palmeri's.  Once a seedy dive bar, Eringer has cleaned Palmeri's up, making it a location to come, have a drink and a chat, Listen to good music, and leave feeling you've had a "memorable experience," of leaving Santa Barbara without actually going anywhere.

He has taken a collection of my paintings; (38, out of the 86 he owns), and has decorated the inside of the saloon with them, and assorted pantings by his father, and Santa Barbara Artist Shawn Kirkpatrick.  The Nocturne Wall, of moonlit scenes, remains above the fray and frolicking customers  who are enjoying their libations below.

Most of the paintings depict images I painted on our Surreal Bounce over the last 13 years. Every painting tells a story about our quest; our search into creativity and madness.

Feedback from the clientele is that they love having artwork on the walls...

In my opinion, it sure beats plastic Budweiser pennants.


Photo: Robert Eringer



Clicking Frog of Calaveras County: Old Fashioned Road Trip April 10, 2013

I've traveled all over the world with Author/Spy Master Robert Eringer, in search of creativity and madness. For a year  we traveled far and wide with the goal of getting to places  where famous American Literary Icons like Hemingway, Kerouac, Fante, Bukowski, Steinbeck, Brannigan, Miller, and Hunter S. Thompson, lived and/or committed suicide. One of the Authors we never got to investigate was Mark TwainSo on this old fashioned road trip with my travel companions, I decided to have my own mini "Surreal Bounce" journey.


We stopped up on Jack Ass Hill to view Mark Twain's Cabin, where in 1865 he wrote his very first novel, "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County".  Feeling the empty cabin with three chairs wasn't much to shake a stick at, we traveled on down the road tothe town of Angels Camp to find the tavern where it is said Twain heard the story while sipping liquor at the bar.

The Tavern, inside Angels Hotel is now an Antique store full of glimmering novelties.  I asked the owner if he knew where the bar was once situated way back in the day? He then pointed to some display cases over yonder. I walked over to the cases imagining them to be an old western bar where I could order a shot of Basil Hayden, (Bourbon Whisky).


Thinking to myself, "This is where Mark Twain once stood... way back in the day... when he was starving, striving to become a successful writer and searching for his voice.  The one that was loud enough to be heard like the croaking of a bull frog." 

Then, looking down into the case, I knew there must be something there for me to remember this moment by. There, sitting on top of a small box was this well-worn antique clicker, in none other than the shape of a frog! I knew I had to have it as a keep sake from this journey.  So, in my search to capture a glimpse into the spirit of Mark Twain, and in the continued tradition of a Surreal Bouncer,  I purchased this miniature clicking talisman that still works like a charm. 

What's in a Cloud?

Albert Einstein once said, "Nothing is more important than the imagination". I agree; especially when it comes to seeing patterns within the clouds.

Taken off Pt. Mugu, on a trip to John Fante's last watering hole in Malibu, California. February 20, 2011

Look, Up in the Sky!! Questing Fante's Inferno Trail

On the trail of writer/novelist John Fante', I took a trip down to the Bunker Hill Area with writer/novelist/spy master Robert Eringer. It was a splendid day in Downtown L.A.
Skid Row never looked better. The Sun was shining, the bums were wining. Everyone was out and about, seemingly care free!

There were many facades to gaze upon.

When Eringer and I do our Zeitgeist Safari's for our Surreal Bounce T.V. show, we are on edge, in motion; to pick up the subtle clues and ironies which seem to "find" us. We do our best to capture things on film (especially the surreal), and share them with you.
Eringer, the writer with satirical rye; and me, the artist with a critical eye.

Our quest this particular jaunt was to visit the old haunts of American Writer, John Fante'. Bunker Hill; the area which John Fante frequented when he was struggling in the 1930's; places like Clifton's Restaurant, and King Eddie's Bar, to get a feel for him, (and Bukowski's inspiration, for that matter). Angel's Flight; near the place where his apartment building was, is up and running as the shortest Rail Line in America.

It was a quick adventure of merely a few hours, but rich beyond imagination. If you want to get a taste of the show, which will have Dan Fante as a guest, it will air live on Public Access, Channel 17, on Tuesday February 22, at 6 pm. It will also stream live over the Internet after that.

Now, this particular photographic image I took on a spontaneous whim. It looks sort of like a sun dial; artistically sculpted, in it's configuration adorning the top of an old Art Deco Building, on 7th and Grand. This photo captures an example of the subtle charms and miracles that life offers to us every day, if we only take notice.

What works for me are the following creeds: You will know what you need to know when you need to know it. You are always in the right place at the right time, (and never not). Life doesn't happen to you, it happens for you. Observe it's unfoldment, because no matter where you find yourself, there you are.

Enjoy the Surreality.

Jazz Night @ the Bedlam Bar. July 19, 2010

In January 2004, the, "Surreal Bounce" Odyssey was in full swing. In this case it was Jazz Swing. This sketch was done on location inside the Bedlam Bar in Hampstead, England. This bar was Robert Eringer's creation; honoring Creativity and Madness.

Eringer and I were on our way to Gheel, Belgium, to obtain the relics of St. Dymphna, (the patron Saint of Mental Illness).

"Every Night was a Full Moon at the Bedlam Bar", and on this particular night, it was "Jazz Night", so I set up my little Pochade box and rhythmically sketched live jazz. The florescent lights of the bar added a surreal feel to the environment. There was youthful vigor and vitality in the air as this bar was new, stimulating; different than most night clubs of the day.

(It helped to know the management of a restaurant who allowed oil based mediums into the bar/restaurant).

In retrospect, I feel it is one of the best gesture oil sketches I've ever done. It has a life force, and liveliness that will never fade.

Jazz Night at the Bedlam Bar
8x6 oil/panel 2003

Collection of Robert Eringer

Surreal Bounce, 2003

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